The Saga of D&RGW 5654 continued

The last post about 5654 ended with it being tapped as the car to take to the Great Western Stock Show for their 100th anniversary celebration. There was a lot of work to be done to get it ready:

Over a few hectic weeks in November 2005, 5654 received new doors and had the missing parts of its body replaced. A set of 1904 as-built plans reproduced in Victor Stone’s book “Taking Stock” were used to build the new doors and determine the placement of the side boards on the car. A set of couplers and a fresh coat of boxcar red paint completed the car’s transformation into “D&RG 5654”.

On December 2, 2005 the car was moved to its new home in Denver. 5654 was placed on a section of track in the original stockyards, across from the Stock Exchange Building and alongside the BNSF mainline. One of the rails was pulled up and moved in to convert the original standard gauge track to three foot gauge to accommodate the narrow gauge car. Lettering was applied to 5654 by the Stock Show’s sign painter and the car was ready for the 100th Annual National Western Stock Show in January of 2006.

D&RGW 5654 is moved into position for unloading as Stock Show workers finish up its track. December 2, 2005.
D&RGW 5654 is moved into position for unloading as Stock Show workers finish up its track. December 2, 2005.

5654 remained on display in the stockyards for the next several years and faired pretty well. Around 2013, the car and its track were uprooted and moved about a block to the west and placed on display in a dirt parking lot. The car’s new location is much more visible and has not been kind to it. The local scrap scum have been systematically removing any metal part that will come off of the car (including the brake cylinder/reservoir), causing no small amount of structural damage in the process. Graffiti has started to pop up on the car, and after a decade the paint and roof need some attention.

Once again, D&RGW 5654’s future seems uncertain.

D&RGW 5654 rests on its display track in the Denver stock yards as a loaded BNSF coal train passes by in the background. December 2, 2005.
D&RGW 5654 rests on its display track in the Denver stock yards as a loaded BNSF coal train passes by in the background. December 2, 2005.
D&RG 5654 on display at the National Western Stock Show, January 7, 2006.
D&RG 5654 on display at the National Western Stock Show, January 7, 2006.
D&RGW 5654 sits in a parking lot alongside National Western Drive in Denver. November 5, 2016.
D&RGW 5654 sits in a parking lot alongside National Western Drive in Denver. November 5, 2016.

Leave a Reply